Let’s talk waiting times!

Let’s talk waiting times!

Did you know that in 66 towns and cities waiting times for Practical Driving Tests have exceeded five months? And 88% of test centres had 7+ weeks waiting time.

The average waiting time peaked at 24 weeks at the end of last year. This month, it has been confirmed that the five-month delay remains the same in some areas.

We are still feeling some pressures caused by Covid-19 lockdowns as there is a continued backlog of eager learners waiting to book their tests.

As a learner, you can help. You could make a difference in these waiting times by only taking your Practical Driving Test once you are completely ready.

But, you may be wondering, how could you possibly know when you’re ready?

The DVSA has launched a ‘Ready to Pass’ campaign to raise awareness around only taking your Practical Driving Test once you are ready. Yes passing your tests gives you that independence, but taking your test too early can increase the chances of failing your test.

There are five main pointers that you need to think about. Once you feel confident in all five, that is when you know it is time for your test:

1. You do not need prompts from your driving instructor.

2. You do not make silly mistakes when you’re driving.

3. You pass mock driving tests.

4. You can control your nerves.

5. Your driving instructor agrees you’re ready.

If you feel unsure about any of those, which is normal, then consider moving your test back. Don’t worry about how long it will take to get another test, you would rather not waste your time and money on taking your test prematurely. Give yourself your best chance by doing the test at the right time.

Not only will it help you by doing your test when you are ready, but it will give somebody else the chance to take their test who really needs it.

Mark Winn, Chief Driving Examiner said “You’re ready to take your driving test when you can drive safely and follow The Highway Code without any prompts from your instructor, while keeping your nerves under control.”

Below we look at average wait times in regional locations, as well as a little hack to try and beat the wait!

The worst areas to look for a driving test:


  • Essex 23.5 weeks
  • Gloucestershire 22.5 weeks
  • Somerset 21.3 weeks
  • Hertfordshire 21 weeks
  • Northamptonshire 21 weeks
  • London 20.9 weeks
  • West Yorkshire 20.6%
  • West Midlands 20.6 weeks
  • Cambridgeshire 20 weeks
  • Herefordshire 19 weeks.


  • South Lanarkshire 24 weeks
  • East Dunbartonshire 24 weeks
  • Renfrewshire 24 weeks
  • Shetland 24 weeks
  • North Lanarkshire 22 weeks
  • Glasgow City 22 weeks
  • West Dunbartonshire 20 weeks
  • City of Edinburgh 19 weeks
  • Argyll & Bute 19.3 weeks
  • Inverclyde 18 weeks.


  • Newport 21 weeks
  • Merthyr Tydfil 18 weeks
  • Bridgen 16 weeks
  • Rhondda Cynon Taf 16 weeks
  • Denbighshire 16 weeks
  • Monmouthshire 16 weeks.

When booking your test think about neighbouring test centres too.

For example, learners near Cheetham Hill in Manchester could just travel seven miles to the Didsbury test centre and it could save them more than three months in waiting time as there is currently a 22-week wait for Cheetham Hill and only six weeks for Didsbury.

Look around! Don’t be set on your local centre.

Up your chances of passing by taking out a Temporary Learner Policy with Dayinsure!

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